My name is John Schultz.
I was called by God on April 4, 1975. Lord
willing, I would like to convey to you what I believe has been the hand of God in my
life. Many of us had hopes and dreams of being together, united
and a family, until we went to be with Jesus, to seek his face as one and
to share in each others joy of finding our Beloved. I was crushed when what I
had hoped for was seemingly overthrown by circumstances beyond anyone's control.
Even Stewart was unable to bring about what he had set out to accomplish. I,
for a time, thought I must live as an unbeliever and hide among the
foreigners until he would require my life for my sin. What was it about me that I ended
up an enemy of Jesus? Some blame Stewart. They say, "He's the reason." I
entertained these thoughts and I tried to reason what it meant if Stewart
was the cause of my dire situation. Was God's plan, which he laid down before
the foundations of the world, and his plan for me, thwarted by a mere human? I
had to conclude, no. Jesus is not that weak! No man can alter what God intends
to accomplish in my life, and all that has happened has happened within the
bounds of Godís ability to work all things together for my good.
So why the course of events?
I had struggled for many years without
coming to an answer. I sought out many, but none could explain, other than to say that
I was in a cult. Many of you may believe that you were in a cult. I do not. I
was called by God and was obedient to his leading. I was proud of Jesus and
openly proclaimed him. But this made what happened all the more troublesome.
Was I deceived by a man? If this is true how do I rectify such statements
as; "I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in
man who walks to direct his steps." And, "We know that in everything God works
for good with those who love him, who are called according to his purpose." I
was looking for the light and instead thick darkness came. "But when I looked
for good, evil came; and when I waited for light, darkness came." My sin was
ever before me. Terror was my constant companion. Seeking relief I turned to
strong drink and sought a rock to crawl under to hide from his fury. I was dead and
I knew it! I knew what I was deserving of. As the grass, tomorrow I would be
no more, taking my place with the dead in sheol never to see the light again.
God is merciful! For
what I saw as no hope, was necessary. The Law
had to have it's effect; not just knowledge of right and wrong, but an experience
of being cut off out of the land of the living, experiencing the cause of sin
in order that I might experience his awesome love in bringing me back from the
dead. What I have come to understand through the Spirit of Truth is that the
pattern of historical events in the Bible is being played out in my life.
Just as God gave the law first to the Jews, and their failure, which had to
happen because they were descended from Adam, readied them for the coming of Jesus
Christ, so it is with me. My failure to keep what I was warned by Angels to
keep made me long for the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ. "I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin revived and I died; the very commandment which promised life proved to be death to me. For sin, finding opportunity in the commandment, deceived me
and by it killed me. So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just
and good. Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was
sin, working death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be
shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond
measure." To apply these words to myself, I would say, " I was once alive
apart from understanding the Law and its effects. But when the knowledge of
God's law was understood by me ( through the Church of Bible Understanding),
sin in my life became quite apparent and this brought death to me. For sin
finding opportunity in my knowing God's commands brought shame to me and my
reaction was to flee and hide. So what I was taught is holy, and the
understanding of God's commands is holy, just and good. Did that which is
good, then, bring backsliding to me? By no means! It was sin in me that
produced backsliding in me, through the discovery of just what sin is -
which Scripture, true to its likeness to Moses, accomplishes.
In closing, I would say that
Jesus has been guiding you and me with
his gentle hands and we need to look with the eyes of our hearts at the precious
way he has continued to do so.
God Bless You,